‘If I Hear One Homophobic Word, I Will Arrest You:’ Street Preacher on Trial for Biblical Preaching

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‘If I Hear One Homophobic Word, I Will Arrest You:’ Street Preacher on Trial for Biblical Preaching By Heath

By Heather Clark | christiannews.net

OverdTAUNTON, UK – A street preacher in the UK who is charged with making “homophobic” and “Islamophobic” remarks has just completed a two-day trial and awaits a verdict on whether or not biblical speech about the issues is considered a crime in the country.

Mike Overd, a street preacher for five years, is accused of speaking against homosexuality and Islam last June and July on two separate occasions. He is now facing two charges of using threatening and abusive words and a charge of causing racially or religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress under the Public Order Act.

A police officer had appeared on local television last fall to urge residents to record Overd’s speech as it had been reported that he was causing offense.

“I’d advise people that if they’re offended to record any incident on their mobile phone and send it to us,” Sgt. Neil Kimmins told reporters.

“It’s clear that this officer is determined to stop me preaching the gospel, which is a terrible attack on freedom of speech,” Overd said following the incident. “I find it extraordinary that the police are trying to make it illegal to preach the gospel in the streets of our country, simply because the gospel at times confronts the sinner.”

Three witnesses appeared in court this week the to claim that they had heard Overd making statements against homosexuality and/or Islam.

“If I don’t tell people about what is in the gospel and that they are sinning, then that makes me a wicked, selfish man,” Overd told the court on Thursday.

He presented two videos as evidence to what occurred as he was preaching from the Bible on the street. In one of the clips, a woman with a little boy approaches Overd and says that she wants to ask him a question. The woman then opines that God loves homosexuals.

“Just because I don’t like their sins does not mean I don’t like them,” Overd says as he continues preaching.

In another video, a police officer approaches the street preacher and tells him that he has received complaints for making “homophobic” statements.

“If I hear one homophobic word out of your mouth here today, I will arrest you,” the officer threatens.

According to the Somerset County Gazette, the officer then advised Overd that he has freedom of speech, but may not offend others.

“I do not set out to hate or make people upset,” Overd told the court. “I have no personal hatred. “I have Muslim friends. We don’t agree on certain things … [but] I have every right to bring facts to the table and compare them. I don’t understand what I’m doing wrong.”

Overd’s case is being heard by a Muslim, Judge Shamim Qureshi, who also serves as the presiding judge at the Sharia law-based Muslim Arbitration Tribunal. During this week’s trial, Qureshi reportedly asked the street preacher questions about the death penalty in the Old Testament, as well as whether or not he would take issue with other religions preaching about their faith in public.

“You are in dire trouble. You need to be born again,” Overd replied, according to The West Country. “You’re deluded. I care for your soul.”

A verdict is expected on March 23.

Overd, who faced a similar charge in 2012 and was found not guilty, is not the first street preacher to face charges for allegedly preaching from the Bible about homosexuality. As previously reported, English evangelist Rob Hughes was jailed in 2013 after a lesbian accused him of speaking against homosexuality, but was later released and charges were dismissed as he denied speaking on the topic that day.

American evangelist Tony Miano was also jailed earlier that same year after speaking against sexual immorality on the streets of London. Miano states that he was preaching from 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 when a woman became agitated by his message and began to curse. He was placed under arrest and marched down to the police station where the was then questioned about his beliefs.

“It was surreal because I was interrogated about my faith in Jesus Christ,” Miano said. “I was asked if I believe that homosexuality is a sin. I was asked what portion of the Bible I was reading. I was asked if a homosexual was hungry and walked up to me, would I give them something to eat.”

“This idea that open air preachers only preach about homosexuality is fallacious. We talk about all forms of sin,” he further explained. “We usually take people through the Ten Commandments. We explain to people that no liar, no thief, no fornicator, no blasphemer, no homosexual, will enter into the kingdom of God.”

Like Hughes, Miano was released and went back out on the streets to preach the following day.

11 Comments on “‘If I Hear One Homophobic Word, I Will Arrest You:’ Street Preacher on Trial for Biblical Preaching”

  1. Timothy J Durden, Sr.

    Powerful witness and testimony. The entire Christian community should be preparing themselves for this type of response from law enforcement, false witnesses liars and accusers of the Brethren. It is here. The time is NOW that persecution has come. Get ready for what’s coming down the pike. Shalom.

  2. Angela Craft

    We must keep our brothers and sisters who are on the front line in our prayers daily. Mike and others need our prayers. May the power of God show up and show off in the courtroom on March 23. May this man of God be vindicated of all charges made against him. No weapon formed against Mike shall prosper. Amen.

    1. Timothy J Durden, Sr.

      No. May he be strong to suffer the persecution of the enemy! If you loose your life you shall find it. This is what it is coming to for ALL true believers and followers of Yeshua Hamashiak. Get ready.

  3. Rachel Ware

    I get that we should preach truth but I don’t understand “open air” preachers like Overd. We don’t need to preach at sinners who don’t want truth, God has a way of drawing them to Jesus when he wills. I don’t think Overd and people like him realize that. When Jesus taught in the open he was calling out people who thought they knew the true God of Abraham-a people who were under ONE religion (or were supposed to be).His audience focused on the scriptures even though they were blind or hypocrites. But Jesus preached a lot in the temple, meaning in an appropriate place as the assembly of the church. His light and power automatically testified of Him wherever he went. Same with Paul, he preached to the church and Peter, unto the Jews. Persecution finds you, we don’t yield ourselves to it..that is so dumb to me when we do that. The Pharisees had to SEARCH for Jesus by the help of Judas in the garden of Gethsemane. People persecuted Jesus after ASKING for his answer while he was just minding his own with Muslims .

    We need to just chill out and edify those who may want truth or concern themselves with biblical teachings. A lot of times it’s even these people who are hardheaded so why go out in a pagan society and preach and then say “they attacked my freedom of speech” and feel like it was suffering for righteousness sake? That’s silly. Overd’s boldness and zeal is a good thing but it shouldn’t provoke contention.

    Why are we eager for it to be full blown persecution? Don’t worry that time is coming. We don’t need to “test the waters” to behold the reality of intense persecution coming. Why yield to distress by going around haters of truth? Yes, God calls people from every where but we give them the gospel when led. And when they accept they will face conviction of righteousness if their hearts are changed and they persevere in the faith. God has powerful prophets everywhere. Our loud open preaching doesn’t make truth louder.

    Us Christians get proud of our stand against homosexuality when we’re persecuted but people will persecute Muslims too when they speak against it. Muslims aren’t suffering for righteousness’s sake in that case. All they did was provoke anger. That’s very easy to do.

    1. Rachel Ware

      And what does he mean by having Muslim friends?

      I’m not trying to strip this man of support but Christ, the prophets, and apostles exemplified how to do these things wisely. Did you know that persecuters’ hearts are confronted more intensely when they seek to CATCH you in a offense or contradiction to disprove your godly cause and God’s truth? This is when God REALLY sets the stage for GIVING you what to say- “therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand what you will answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all of your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist” Luke 21:14-15. This man is anticipating contention in a diverse public which he knows is evil and thing acts shocked when they treat him unjustly! It’s unnecessary arguing. How about he invite people to his church or something and then preach THERE?

      Going out to preach at people we should already know hate God is not how God ordained his testimony to be effective. They come after us and disrupt OUR assemblies and our homes and THAT reveals their evil heart, which is where God would want them if they are to see the light.

      Our light shines and we are salt because we aren’t ashamed of the Christ and we are ready to give an answer. Most importantly through the way we live. We aren’t tasteless salt just because we don’t preach on the street. The street is just a place. A church assembly can be on the street. Arguing with pro-gay people or Muslims you pass by on the street doesn’t make us stronger salt or light or prove we’re uncompromising.

      Negative reactions to the truth is normal. This is not proving things are “worse”. Jesus spoke it thousands of years ago that people will hate his light. How is this issue any different? And again, why does this man claim to have Muslim friends when he preaches again Islam? He should stop that. I think he wants to prove his zeal and see these reactions to feel like he’s doing something great…just my opinion.

  4. Sheila

    1. Homo – any of a genus (Homo) of hominids that includes modern humans (H. sapiens) and several extinct related species.
    2. Phobic – of, relating to, or having an extremely strong fear or dislike of someone or something.
    3. Phobia – an extremely strong dislike or fear of someone or something.

    Homo-phobic literally means to fear humans or the dislike of humans. I will never understand why that name is used toward people who don’t agree with the sodomite lifestyle. I am truly all human (homo) and I certainly don’t hate humans (phobic) or dislike anyone for being human.

    What they really want to say is “Sodom-phobia.” We dislike the sin of sodomites (males & females) their pride and rebellion against God and His creation, and we fear the wrath of God that is against them and anyone who agrees with what they do. We certainly don’t fear them. We dislike what they do, not who they are – humans.
    Being a sodomite is not who you are, it’s what you do. You’ve ACCEPTED – an experience that became a habit that became a lifestyle – you CHOSE. And, now you say, “this is who I am, I was born this way.” In other words, you are in rebellion against what God created you to be, by committing the sin and believing “the lie” that it’s who you are. That’s called breaking God’s moral law.

    I didn’t experiment with trying to be a female and practiced being one until it became a habit and chose it as my lifestyle. I was born a female. It’s my nature, and being a female is who I am, not what I do. So, I CHOSE not to rebel against nature and break God’s law, by trying to be a man or being in a relationship with a woman. IT IS SIN.

    Keep blowing the trumpet & sounding the alarm Ex Ministries

  5. Claude M. Dionne

    As I have said countless times, somebody opened the ‘Pandora Box’ of politically-correct phrasings and words going well with the left-wing Liberal crowd. I am getting increasingly repulsed/turned-off by all these “alternative” brandings and lifestyles. Still, enjoy your day, ‘eh’?!?

  6. Donnell

    This is what we have come to. The truth about a specific sin causes rebellious actions against God’s Word by people who are not true believers of The scriptures and the foolish attacks of a state authorities who are also non followers of the Lord

  7. Geoffrey

    @Rachel Ware I believe you are speaking as a Christian, but am perturbed by your aversion to street preachers of the gospel of our LORD Jesus Christ…like that evangelist Overd. That’s one man who is obedient to to the command ” go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature; he who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” MARK 16:15, 16. And many other scriptures clearly require you to vocally bear witness to the LORD, some will have the grace to do it one-on-one yet other Christians will go ballistic, on the street corners and market squares, so that “whosoever can hear may hear” and repent. And friend, if you really are obedient to the LORD Jesus Christ the world wont like you. This attitude of appeasement and placating the sensibilities of those who reject the gospel is what has killed the power of the church in much of Europe in the last century. I hear in the UK especially (but probably true of other nations too) many cathedrals have now been turned into museums and mosques. So much for not offending others by preaching Christ.

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